With the unprecedented impact on higher education (HE) from the coronavirus outbreak, Kortext, the UK’s leading digital textbook platform, in conjunction with Jisc, is launching a nationwide programme to ensure all 2.4 million university students and 217,000 academic staff have access to their key learning resources during this crucial revision and exam period.
Kortext has partnered with the leading textbook publishers Pearson, Cengage, Sage, Elsevier, the university presses of Oxford and Cambridge and others to facilitate this sector-wide support for students during this period of campus closures and the shifting to online delivery of teaching and learning, just ahead of the most important time for many students in the academic year.
The aim is to roll this programme out across the entire UK HE sector within the next three to four weeks and Kortext and Jisc will be working all UK universities to facilitate this.
As the national response to the virus intensifies, many students will lose access to their vital course materials, often accessed as print textbook copies through the university libraries.
This programme provides each student with free digital copies of their core textbook titles covering all subjects and courses across the UK. Students are then equipped to continue to study anywhere, both online and offline and they can connect with each other and use the content throughout this crucial time.
James Gray, CEO and founder of Kortext says:
“We’re conscious that the sector is under maximum strain right now as they work to find solutions to support students while they prepare for their exams.
We’re determined to do what we can to help minimise the impact of this virus on student attainment and we are proud to be working with the sector to deliver a completely student free solution to support them”
Paul Feldman, CEO of Jisc comments:
“The response that we’ve seen from content providers to support students, teachers and researchers has been fast, heartfelt and emphatic. We’re all acutely aware of the disruption that the students and universities are experiencing at this most critical period of the academic year. Initiatives like this from Kortext will help ensure students can access critical textbook content.
We are continuing to encourage and work with all content and software providers to maximise access and help our member universities prepare for campus closures."
The programme partners helping to bring this together include Microsoft, which is delivering infrastructure, Kortext who are providing their platform free of charge and the key academic publishers that include; Pearson Education, Cengage, SAGE Publishing, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Wolters Kluwer.
Patricia Killiard, senior deputy director, academic services, Cambridge University Libraries says:
“The importance of being able to provide core e-textbooks to our students and teaching staff during such a challenging time cannot be understated.
That this access is being offered for free during the coronavirus outbreak marks incredible generosity and care on the part of the contributing publishers who have chosen to make their content available, and Cambridge University Libraries are extremely grateful to Kortext and Jisc for all their work to make this possible."
Any interested higher education institution can contact Kortext at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Help and information for members can be found on our dedicated coronavirus information page.